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2012 Ford Mustang

Overview
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2012 Ford Mustang Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 8.0

Ford's iconic pony car, the 2012 Mustang, keeps going strong. Although some may argue the 2012 Mustang's styling isn't as eye-popping as the Camaro, its performance easily matches its long-time Chevy rival and others, including the Dodge Challenger and Hyundai Genesis. With the base car's V6 engine producing 305 horsepower – more than some V8s of just a few years back – the Mustang is not only fast, it's affordable. The GT model is a V8-powered dynamo with a snarling exhaust note, available 6-speed manual transmission and ripping performance. More than just a flashback, the newest Mustang also attracts younger buyers who want the experience of a torque-heavy V8. Available in Coupe or Convertible, V6, V8, high-performance V8 (Boss 302) and screamingly fast V8 (Shelby GT500), the 2012 Ford Mustang isn't all things to all people, but it comes close.

You'll Like This Car If...

Whether you're looking for a fun and affordable sports car to relive your youth, or a fast and furious street rod to keep you from growing old, there's a 2012 Mustang with your name on it. With 31-mpg for the V6 car and the SYNC voice-activated communications system as key selling points, the Mustang is as modern as it is retro.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Those who seek an independent rear suspension, a muted purr from the engine and styling more at home at the Opera than a NASCAR event might prefer a more subdued (and probably pricier) European sports car. While the 2012 Ford Mustang is fun for two, its rear seat is best suited to children or very limber adults.

What's New for 2012

The 2012 Mustang receives a new selectable steering setup that includes Sport, Comfort and Standard modes, and the Mustang Boss 302 limited-run model debuts touting 444 horsepower. New features available on the 2012 Ford Mustang include dual illuminated visor vanity mirrors, a remote garage door opener, the Reverse Sensing System and HID headlamps.

Driving the Mustang

Driving Impressions Refusing to give up its solid rear axle design, Ford has created for the 2012 Mustang an inexpensive rear suspension that performs quite well and is as comfortable in cruise...

as it is quick in the corners. The driver selectable steering enhances feel, response and predictability. Add in the AdvanceTrac stability control system and powerful anti-lock disc brakes, and the 2012 Ford Mustang maintains its composure quite well in the turns, although the back end can be made to step out when too much throttle is applied – which immediately activates the stability control. The GT has a driver selectable AdvanceTrac system that includes a less restrictive Sport mode. In V6 form, the 2012 Mustang delivers up 305 horsepower and packs a punch, yet still tops the 30-mpg mark in highway driving. The heart and soul of the Mustang, however, is the 5.0-liter V8, with 412 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque and matched with either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic.

3.7-liter V6
Unless you absolutely revel in the idea of having a V8, the new 3.7-liter V6 is more than enough engine, producing horsepower and torque figures that surpass the output of many previous-generation Mustang GTs!

Comprehensive Interior Upgrades
Better quality and enhanced features make it a much nicer world inside every 2012 Mustang. Highlighting the mix are a one-piece soft-touch dash and more finger-friendly controls that are further complemented by variable interior ambient lighting and, on Premium models, selectable MyColor illumination.

2012 Ford Mustang Details
Interior

The 2012 Ford Mustang's interior is a great place to spend time. Traditional design elements from the first Mustang include a soft-touch one-piece dash pad, bright chrome accents and brushed aluminum trim. Highlights include a 160-mph speedometer, Ford's MyColor configurable dash that allows the driver to choose from 125 color combinations, and an 8-inch color touch-screen for the optional navigation system. Thanks to an extensive use of sound deadening material, the 2012 Mustang's interior is exceedingly quiet even with the roaring V8 engine. We like the Mustang's front seats very much, finding them both supportive yet snug enough to hold one in place during aggressive driving.

Exterior

The 2012 Ford Mustang shows originality and retro. Historical elements that made the first car such a hit include the galloping pony in the grille and the staggered sequential LED rear turn indicators. But the 2012 Mustang's power-bulged hood, big wheels and steeply-raked windshield never appeared on the original model. The integrated headlamp/turn-indicator unit pays homage to the 1970 Mustang, while the big 5.0-liter badges on the GT's front fenders play up on the 1980s Mustang. A wide and deep grille insert serves as the backdrop for a more stylized galloping pony emblem as well as prominent fog lamps on GT models.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

All 2012 Ford Mustangs are impressively packaged. Even the base V6 comes with air conditioning, power windows/locks/mirrors, keyless remote entry, AM/FM/CD stereo with AUX input, Selectable Electronic Power Steering Assist (EPAS), cruise control, Electronic Stability Control (ESC; includes anti-lock brakes), front and front-side airbags, and Ford's SOS Post-Crash Alert system. The Premium versions add leather upholstery, trim enhancements, an upgraded instrument cluster with MyColor variable lighting, Shaker 500 audio system with SYNC and SIRIUS Satellite Radio, power driver's seat, and a split-folding rear seat on coupes. The GT has a 412-horsepower, 5.0-liter V8 engine, automatic headlamps, rear spoiler, fog lamps, a black-chrome pony grille badge, and cloth instead of synthetic material on the Convertible's power top.

Optional Equipment

Key extras for the base V6 2012 Mustang are a 6-speed automatic transmission, the Reverse Sensing System and Security Package, and a Convertible soft boot. The V6 Premium offers the base-level upgrades plus the V6 Performance Package (strut tower brace, larger anti-roll bars, 19-inch black painted wheels, recalibrated electronic stability control, performance brake pads and a 3.31:1 rear axle ratio). The GT Premium offers the California Special package (chrome billet grille, side scoops and 19-inch wheels). The GT trim offers the Brembo Brake Package, recalibrated stability program and 19-inch wheels with P255/40R19 tires. HID bi-xenon headlamps, a glass roof, back-up camera and several packages – including the Electronic (Navigation with SIRIUS, HD Radio and dual-zone auto climate control) and Comfort (leather-trimmed heated front seats and a six-way power passenger seat) – are available on Premium versions.

Under the Hood

The base 2012 Ford Mustang is powered by an all-aluminum 3.7-liter V6 engine featuring dual overhead cams (DOHC) and Twin-Independent Variable Camshaft Timing (Ti-VCT). The result is 305 horsepower with fuel economy comparable to some four-cylinder cars. Ford's 6-speed automatic features a "Hill Mode" function that extends gear operation on uphill climbs and provides additional engine braking upon descent; Ford does not offer a manually-selectable shift program with this transmission. Stepping up to the 5.0-liter V8 (also equipped with Ti-VCT technology) brings 412 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque; the Boss 302 has 444 horsepower and 380 lb-ft Our time in the Mustang GT produced zero-to-60-mph runs under five seconds.


3.7-liter DOHC V6
305 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
280 lb-ft of torque @ 4,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy 19/29 (manual), 19/31 (automatic)

5.0-liter DOHC V8
412 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
390 lb-ft of torque @ 4,250 rpm
444 horsepower @ 7,400 rpm (Boss 302)
380 lb-ft of torque @ 4,500 rpm (Boss 302)
EPA city/highway fuel economy 17/26 (manual), 18/25 (automatic)

5.4-liter supercharged V8
550 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
510 lb-ft @ 4,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/23

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2012 Ford Mustang Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.2
Out of 10

Based on 1583 Ratings for the 2005 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.2/10
    Quality
    9.2/10
  • Reliability
    9.4/10
    Performance
    9.4/10
  • Comfort
    9.0/10
    Styling
    9.4/10

This is my first Mustang. I am in love!

By on Monday, January 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 110,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Affordable, beautiful, reliable, safe and user-friendly. Plus a LOT of fun to drive. This beauty has me hooked!! The only downsides are poor handling on wet roads-(she will fishtail in a heartbeat) and the loud and touchy Ford transmission."

2 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Only Oil Changes + 31 to 33 MPG, Plenty of Power

By on Wednesday, January 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 77,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great price and fun to drive."

Cons: "Reinforce the front end grill area."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I need more room because of the nature of my business and the fact that I must travel over the High Sierra Mtns. in winter, needing 4WD occasionally. This car has been excellent without any maintenance requirements except oil changes. I drive almost exclusively in open range country and have hit several rabbits and a coyote. The structure of the front end should be stronger. There was no operating damage; however, I had to replace the fragile plastic like material in the lower grill area twice hitting small animals at night."

7 people out of 14 found this review helpful

Want a Super Sports Car? This is the car for you!

By on Wednesday, January 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,011

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Dont buy until after you have driven mine!"

Cons: "No cons. Its all good."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"If you are not familiar with these cars you have an opportunity to experience the best performance and driving pleasure that you have ever had, without question."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Amazing Value, Lots of Fun, Practical

By on Tuesday, January 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 9,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Speed, Engine, Value, Fun to Drive"

Cons: "Okay Handling, Interior Materials"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This is my first mustang and I bought the v6 manual brand new. I love it, amazing value! So much fun to drive and this engine seems to be reliable. The ease of customizing without breaking the bank is very appealing. 305hp with a stick is plenty of power on the streets, some people are stuck on the old 6 cylinder mindset. The GT of course is amazing but for my price range and want to drive an exciting car this is it. Handling is ok and some of the interior are made up of average plastic but you get this car for fun, American Muscle exterior styling. I have had so many compliments and head turns with this car. I interact with a lot of people at work and it will spark a convo with any car lover."

this is a very nice car

By on Tuesday, December 30, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 92,002

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "looks and drives great no issues"

Cons: "none"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This car,while it may not be a neck breaker because its a v6 it is however a head turner,cant get gas without people walking up and looking at it,things like wow,nice car,most beautiful mustang ive ever seen,crowds gather round at each and every car show and cruise nite.and best part is it is great on gas and very comfortable to ride in and it handles like its on rails,just eats up the turns and asks for more.This car will not disappoint on any level"

26 people out of 47 found this review helpful

Best performance car at this price point

By on Monday, December 29, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Always fun to drive, reliable and efficient"

Cons: "A few dollars more would make it awesome"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Strong performance combined with very good economy and a very thrift entry price. I have had zero mechanical or functional problems with this car. Overall gas mileage average for my car is 25.9mpg in mixed driving, mostly suburban city cycle. high points: HID headlights, steering feel and response / handling, very strong V6 engine, fuel economy, Seating position, very tight turning radius of size of car...Low points: shock tuning could be firmer without degrading ride, OEM tires perform poorly in snow and ice, better options exist for a performance all season solution Overall I am extremely satisfied with this car. The value to the price point is very good, and the S197 Mustang series 2005-2014 has proven to be a very mature and reliable product. The 3.7L V6 is a huge upgrade in power, economy and smoothness from the older 4.0L V6, and is a good substitute for the larger V8 for buyers on a budget. The V6 car is fast enough many drivers will never use the full power envelope of the engine. A very smooth and willing engine that never disappoints."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?